Today in WW II: 7 Apr 1939 King Zog of Albania flees the invasion of his country by Italian fascists, forcing him into exile. More ↓
7 Apr 1945 German aircraft ramming unit [Sonderkommando Elbe] makes its only flight, destroying 24 B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator bombers of the US Eighth Air Force.
7 Apr 1945 Following the loss of Okinawa, Kantaro Suzuki becomes Prime Minister of Japan, ad advocte of ending the war on any terms, opposed by Japan's military leaders.
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40mm Gun Motor Carriage, M19
The self-propelled M19 40mm Gun Motor Carriage consisted of two turret-mounted 40mm Bofors guns on a lengthened M24 Chaffee light tank chassis. It replaced the halftrack mounted AAA of WW II and was itself replaced by the M-42 Duster in the 1950s.
The M19 twin 40mm Gun Motor Carriage was standardized 11 May 1944. Production by Cadillac and Massey-Harris began in April 1945, too late for material participation in World War II. By the end of 1945 production, 300 units had been produced.
The M19 had twin Cadillac 44T24 110hp V8 engines, relocated behind the driver's compartment. The power-operated turret was mounted on the M19's rear deck. The Bofors guns were clip-fed with a 120rpm rate of fire. 252 rounds were carried by the M19 with an optional 320 more in the M28 ammunition trailer. A crew of six operated the M19.
Radio equipment and a 200-amp auxiliary generator were added to the M19, changing the designation to M19A1, recognizable by equipment blisters that interrupt the smooth, rounded lines of the original M19 turret. In 1948, remaining M19 GMCs were rebuilt as M19A1 units.
U.S. Army M19 Twin 40mm Gun Motor Carriage with M28 ammunition trailer, Korea, circa 1950.
U.S. Army M19 Twin 40mm Gun Motor Carriage, circa 1950.
M-19A1 Twin 40mm Gun Carriage. Photo: Courtesy of John Buckley. Thanks to Sam Berliner, III for correct ID.